Melipeuco

Unpleasant, unexpected surprise……: Bas is going home!

After three nights Valparaiso we really wanted to get on our bikes again for some days.

Finding our way

We stayed well clear of the big central highway going south, and picked up the little coastal route. Surprisingly beautiful! Green hills, pine trees, the smell of flowers, nice bays, lovely views….and most of the time there was absolutely no one on the road. We spent a night in Pichilemu (nov 20), known by surfers for its left-hand break.

Pichilemu

enjoying the afternoon sun

We practiced our Argentinean BBQ, Chilean style…. and got addicted to the 2 liter packs Gato Negro – Cabernet Sauvignon. Cheap, good and plenty…. We like.

BBQ and wine

Next day we continued on the beautiful coastal route. Great gravel roads along lakes and pacific bays.

Bay views

Enjoying it all with Nescafe and over lunch….

Nescafe

Lunch

In Pelluhue we found ourselves a cabana and had homemade pasta on the porch. We really enjoyed being on the road again….and away from cities.

El chef

Porch eating

Monday 22nd we had a short ride. Bas and Steve now really needed to change their rear tyres. So that’s what we did on a hot afternoon. We could need some grip the upcoming days riding the lake district.

changing tyres

 With some fresh tyres we continued our trip land inwards towards the lakes. Camped at lago …..eh…something and continued the day after.

along the way

Camp at lago....eh..something

On Wednesday we entered the national park around Volcano Llaima (one of the most active volcanoes in Chile, last active in 2008), the Ruta Interlagos. Because summer is still a month away here, we were the only ones riding this great gravel route, with fantastic views on the white topped Volcano and lava rivers.

Lava river

Ruta interlagos

 Late in the afternoon we found a quiet spot near a river to set up camp.

wildcamping

We cooked, drank, talked, enjoyed….

Gato negro

We really enjoyed being away from modern civilization for a while…back to nature.

Back to nature

Next morning we woke up with sunshine, giving us great views of the volcano.

Morning sun

Volcano Llaima

 After a quick morning shower, and a coffee, we continued on the ruta interlagos not knowing where we would end that day..…and not knowing what was about to happen.

Shower

shower

Ruta Interlagos

Then……on a rocky downhill part…..Bas had difficulty controlling his bike and hit a rock. His ankle got swollen quickly and we couldn’t drive any further. We gave first aid near a river to keep the swelling down and find a ride to the nearest village. Roel and Steve took care of all the gear.

Steve filling waterbag, Bas and his bike with a dent in the tank

Cooling the ankle

all the gear

That night we ended in a Melipeuco. Bas got a first examination on his ankle. We had BBQ and a wine, hoping it wasn’t all too bad.

BBQ

Next morning we went to Temuco to find a proper clinic. Bas’ ankle is broken. An abrupt end of our journey with the three of us……and also for Bas’ next trip with Janneke. Really sad.

Robocop shoe

Bad luck

Bas is going home now and we will wait for the Black Elephant who will continue on Bas’ bike.

Probably this is the risk of a trip like this. So, we will not complain. We will be thankful. We had the best times together the last ten months!

We didn’t just talk the talk. We walked the walk. Or even better, we rode the ride. Good luck healing…. See you in a few months.

Chao!

Bas

Roel, you want another fishermen’s friend? Pretty strong stuff….huh?

Valparaiso

Kissing the Pacific coast again…

We stayed a few nights in Cordoba. Did an oilchange on our bikes, enjoyed city nightlife and tried to stay cool in this hot place.

Tuesday november 9, we left and for the first time in weeks we enjoyed some twisty mountain roads again on our way to Mendoza.

pitstop

We stopped for the night in a little village, where we practiced our Argentinean BBQ skills a little more. Next day we crossed a desert.

straight roads

Resting

Long straight roads…leading to Mendoza, the winecapital of Argentine. What a nice city. Big plaza’s, long avenues, unlimited wine, beautiful people, great hostel…….All ingredients to stay some days.

Mmmmm Coffee

Plaza

BBQ

We enjoyed a hostels BBQ and had some drinking & guitar sessions. Saul played guitar like a pro and we drank wine like a pro….

guitar sessions

wine

We also met George and Chris, two lads from Scotland driving two Suzuki V-stroms all the way down from Alaska to Ushuaia and end in Buenos Aires. Doing it all in three months. After two months they have done more miles than we did in nine….. Great guys, and always good for a laugh with there Brittish sense of humor. Cheersssshh boysssshh

George & Chris

November 16, we left Mendoza to cross the Andes into Chile. Two epic days we had ahead of us. We took the old gravel route leaving Mendoza. Twisty mountain route without any other traffic.

Old route to Chile

Gravel road

To the border

From Uspallata we picked up the main road. No words to describe this great route, bringing us to Puente del Inca at 2700m where we stayed for the night.

Old route

To the border

Puente del Inca

The road to the border passes the highest mountain of the Americas, Aconcagua with an altitude of 6.962m

Next morning, we rode the last part to the Chilean border. For the first time in nine months, entering the 18th country this trip, the customs wanted to see all our luggage. Too bad, we just had our dirty laundry done… We were not even allowed to bring three Argentinean apples into the country.

Chile!!

Into Chile

After the formalities we continued and descended from 3.000m to about 1.500m. Almost 30 hairpins all the way down!!

Oh...YES!!

left, right, left, right, left, right, left, right, left....

Wait for me Bas!

It crossed our minds, to go up again and do it all over….left, right, left, right… But the thought of meeting customs again….

After the Andes pass we drove all the way to Valparaiso. This is a colorful Chilean coastal city on a hill, giving nice views.

Lunch at the plaza

Valparaiso

Colorful Valparaiso

Here we wanted to arrange a Chilean insurance for the bikes, which we need in case of police checks. But apparently it was not possible for us (non-Chileans) to get one….

Computer says no..  We were left but only one option: creativeness.

Creativeness

Tomorrow we will hit the road south, picking up the smaller coastal routes. The next few months we will cross the Chilean/Argentinean border a few times on our way to Ushuaia. We have to be in Bariloche beginning of december. From there Bas will leave the team and will join Janneke. But, we arranged the best Bas-replacement we can imagine: the Black Elephant, who we will introduce later. First we have to adjust suspension for the BE….

Saludos,

Los tres amigos

PS1: George & Chris, thanks for the insurance templates

PS2: Here is Aussi Saul playing the guitar…..And he could also cook damn well.

Cordoba

“El mundo es como un libro abierto, quien no viaja sólo ha leído la primera pagina”

We’ve moved along quite a bit the last few weeks. We found out that we are quite spoiled after months of mountains and the curviest roads. Last few thousand kilometers we had straight flat roads. So that’s one reason why we´ve driven quite some miles. No beautiful landscapes to shoot, so the only stops we made were at gasstations filling her up….

Sitting, waiting, whishing

Welcome to Uruguay

Monday october 25th, we crossed the Brasil/Urugayuan border and drove to Punta del Diablo. Supposed to be a highlight, but for sure we were in the wrong season. Along the coast there was this very chilly oceanbreeze, making us wear all our layers on the bike. So instead of a sunny touristy beachvillage, we found a desolate ghosttown.

Punta de Diablo

Next day we continued along the coast. But first we needed a welder. After almost nine months of not travelling light, Roels pannier rack got cracked and needed a professional.

Lasogen?

After that we drove to Punta del Este. A Monaco like city, with only villas and luxurious apartments. The greatest wealth….we didn’t expect that. The day before, we were thinking of staying in Punta del Este, but somehow our dirty old bikes didn’t really fit in. We decided to continue and drove to Montevideo, the capital.

Looking for a hostel

A pretty modern city, laid-back and just a stone throw away from Buenos Aires. A good place to find some new rear tyres and drink a beer in the local “Weber”. Unfortunately the hostel we stayed in was booked after two nights, so we had to leave.

Colonia del Sacramento

Thursday (28th) we drove to Colonia del Sacramento, a colonial town. Very touristy, because it is close to Argentine and because of its nice sunsets.

Nice

We stayed 4 nights, but didn’t really do anything, except for watching three seasons Californication, some top rated movies like the Simpsons and did a lot of sleeping. All three of us got a little sick there…..and we were just really tired. We think the nine months of travelling made us tired, …..or maybe we just really miss the mountainroads.

November first, we crossed the border to Argentine. At the border there was a sign with the (political) statement that the Falklands belong to Argentine. It still hurts apparently… We found a campsite in Gualeguaychu and had our first Argentinean style BBQ…

Camp

Jealous dad??

Mmmmmeat

Next day we drove to Rosario, a lovely city. Away from the oceanbreeze, temperatures were rising as well and before we knew it, we were enjoying fresh coffee on a sunny terrace wearing shorts, flip-flops and our glasses again.

Rosario

Rosario

Life is good here. But again….they wanted to remind us that the Falklands (islas malvinas) belong to Argentine. Yeah…we know by now.

Falklands

On our way to pick up the Andes roads to go to Patagonia and Ushuaia, we will visit Cordoba, Mendoza and Santiago. All supposed to be very nice cities. Yesterday we arrived in Cordoba and are now recovering from a proper Argentinean allnighter…. Thank god, we still feel like 18. Argentinean lifestyle is a bit different than we are used to…. They start their diner, by the time we normally would hit a bar and they go to a club, by the time we usually crawl back to our beds.

We’ll stay here for the weekend, do an oilchange on the bikes and just enjoy Argentina…..and its meat.

Saludos!!

Raul, Sebastian y Esteban

PS: aboves translation:

“The world is like an open book, he who doesn’t travel only read the first page…”

Amen.

PS2: Thijs & Els GEFELICITEERD!!!